The ancient Hohokam culture of Arizona constructed at least 200 ball courts more than 800 years ago. These oval depressions were likely used to play a ball game that originated in southern Mexico, where the game was played with a rubber ball and had a very important role in reenacting the creation of humans in this world. This presentation will describe the recorded Hohokam ball courts located within Hohokam villages scattered throughout Arizona, summarize what archaeologists propose they were used for, and discuss how these public structures may relate to what is known about the Mexican rubber ball games, which are still played today.
Dr. Todd W. Bostwick has been conducting archaeological research in the Arizona for 38 years. He has a Masters degree in Anthropology and a Ph.D. in History from Arizona State University. Dr. Bostwick was the Phoenix City Archaeologist at Pueblo Grande Museum for 21 years before his retirement in 2010, and was a Faculty Associate at ASU and at NAU for 7 years. He is currently the Director of Archaeology at Verde Valley Archaeology Center. Dr. Bostwick has written and edited numerous articles and books on the American Southwest, including Landscape of the Spirits: Hohokam Rock Art at South Mountain Park, published by the University of Arizona.